HAVANA (AP) - New Secretary of State John Kerry faces a deadline in a few weeks on a normally routine decision that could have a big impact, this time, on U.S. Cuba relations.
The decision is whether or not to recommend taking Cuba off a list of state sponsors of terrorism, which also includes Iran, Syria and Sudan.
The decision could usher in a long-stalled detente or slam the door. Either way, current travel restrictions to the island nation would remain.
Cuban officials have told visiting American delegations privately that they view Kerry's recommendation as a litmus test for improved ties.
Inclusion on the list means a ban on arms sales to Cuba but also on items that can have dual uses, including some hospital equipment. It also requires that the United States oppose any international loans to Cuba.